What is the Difference Between SaaS vs. PaaS?

A young man at a computer screen demonstrates the difference between SaaS vs. PaaS

Many people don’t know the difference between SaaS (software as a service) vs. PaaS (platform as a service). The words sound and look similar. However, there are clear distinctions between these types of services. Let’s explore SaaS and PaaS together.

What do SaaS and PaaS Have in Common?

Both SaaS and PaaS are cloud-based services. The concept of a cloud service is tricky to understand. Basically, providers offer cloud services through the internet, and users can access them without downloading any extra software. (Software means programs on your computer). All users need to access a cloud-based service is an internet connection.

Think about Dropbox. You don’t have to download it, but you can still access it through your browser. The information you upload to Dropbox gets stored on the company’s servers, also called “the cloud.”  

The Difference Between SaaS and PaaS

SaaS is the most common cloud service. SaaS providers offer applications for various services like file storage and backup and project management over the internet. Google Workplace, Dropbox, and Salesforce are examples of SaaS applications.

PaaS is a tool for developers. Whereas SaaS offers ready-to-use applications, PaaS provides a platform for customized application creation. Companies use PaaS to develop their own apps.

Pros and Cons of SaaS and PaaS

SaaS Pros:

·      SaaS is easy to use. These programs are user-friendly and intuitive.

·      SaaS involves low and predictable pricing. SaaS providers often offer a monthly subscription at a fixed rate.

·      Users can access SaaS applications from nearly anywhere. As long as there’s a network connection, SaaS applications work.

SaaS Cons:

·      Using SaaS can lead to security risks. Because SaaS providers are not responsible for security, the businesses using SaaS programs need to make sure their data stays safe.

·      SaaS users lack control. Everything is hosted on a third-party server, meaning updates and changes are out of users’ hands.

·      If the internet is down, so is your SaaS application. Downloadable apps like Microsoft Word can function without internet access, but SaaS applications cannot.

PaaS Pros:

·      Like SaaS, PaaS involves low prices. Running a business costs money, making it important to save money anywhere you can. That’s why cloud services are popular right now—they offer cheap storage and development opportunities.

·      It’s quick and easy to develop customized apps using PaaS. That leaves more time for other activities such as marketing.

·      PaaS developers perform all necessary updates for your app and ensure it’s running properly, so you don’t have to. This is also a time-saver. It’s a pro for you, the developer, as well as app users.

PaaS Cons:

·      You have to rely on your PaaS provider. Relying on others is risky and can put business owners in unpredictable positions. It’s best to have backups when you dependent on another party for data storage and development tools.

·      PaaS comes with security risks. PaaS software and tools are available to the general public, so if your app contains sensitive informative, you may want to reconsider using PaaS.

·      PaaS software is sometimes incompatible with a company’s existing software and hardware. Incompatibility may result in the company needing to update its current technology or switch providers. This process is potentially time-consuming and costly.

Should My Company Use SaaS or PaaS?

Whether you should use SaaS or PaaS depends on what type of company you own and its needs. If you are (or want to be) a tech developer, PaaS may be the best fit. If you need extra storage space, SaaS will serve your needs. 

Before you choose any software, evaluate your company’s goals and needs and then perform the necessary research on which provider is right for you.

Scaling a company and choosing the right software can be tough. If you need help with growth and marketing, or just want to explore your options — book a call with our experts today!